Worries Over Bitcoin Mining: Chinese-Controlled Operations in the US Spark National Security Alarms

Bitcoin mining fears

The New York Times affirmed concerns about national security revolving around China’s Bitcoin (BTC) mining activities on U.S. soil. Following the Chinese government’s announcement to restrict Bitcoin mining, many mining operations in China opted for “mining migration” to the United States, a country with less stringent cryptocurrency regulations.

Here, they established a large-scale cryptocurrency mining facility surpassing others in the Cheyenne, Wyoming area. However, this location raised alarm bells as it is in close proximity to Microsoft’s data center, which supports the Pentagon and U.S. Air Force in deploying intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.

Microsoft’s experts believe that, “China is strategically positioned; they can gather comprehensive intelligence, not just mine Bitcoin.” Following Microsoft’s warning, U.S. government officials increased supervision of mining activities in Wyoming, requiring Chinese mining companies to cooperate with federal investment committees to control their operations.

In fact, Wyoming is just one of the few areas in the U.S. where Chinese Bitcoin mining operations are expanding. Besides concerns about intelligence gathering, these mining activities involve specialized computers and other machinery, putting immense pressure on the power grid.

Brian Harrell, former Assistant Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, warned, “Bitcoin mining is placing tremendous stress on the power grid, posing the risk of power shortages or potential attacks on the national energy system at any time.”

As The New York Times expanded its investigation, they found that China owns or operates at least 12 mines across multiple states in the U.S., including Arkansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming. The electricity consumed by these mines is equivalent to the energy needed to power 1.5 million homes for a year.

Many of these mining facilities currently use computers manufactured by Bitmain. Since China banned Bitcoin mining due to economic and environmental concerns, Bitmain has increased exports of equipment to the U.S. by 15 times compared to five years ago. According to various sources, the company has close ties to the Chinese government.

Clearly, the increase in Bitcoin mining activities owned by China in the U.S. raises significant concerns for national security and energy infrastructure for the U.S. government. It necessitates strong government oversight, management, and tighter regulations on Bitcoin mining.

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Chi Do
Chi Do
Chi Do is a content writer at CoinMinutes, responsible for creating most of the content on the website, including news related to Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Blockchain, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and more. With a keen interest in cryptocurrencies since the 2020s, Chi has acquired extensive experience and knowledge in this field. Chi holds a Bachelor's degree in communication from Academy of Journalism and Communication in Vietnam.

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